On the Kentucky River.

I: Buoyancy

On a lazy Sunday afternoon, I found myself face-up, staring at the bright, filtered sun. It pushed through a blanket of blue-grey that softly threatened to sprinkle down on me as muffled voices of wayward frequencies waded softly around my submerged ears. I was floating on my back in the middle of the olive-green Kentucky River, surrounded by splashing kids and big kids (adults) and soaring buzzards above.  Floating— I was glad to be floating.

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Tyler Gaston Farewell | ISC/GFS Summer Residency

I am sitting here today and cannot believe that the 6-week residency has come to an end.  My time spent at GFS has passed by so quickly, but for me this final stretch of the program has been the most challenging and rewarding.  I leave here tomorrow and am excited to head back home to Pittsburgh.  I am already starting to reflect upon the residency experience, but am only scratching the surface at this point in time. 

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Update From Mana Studios | Dominic Sansone

At first I thought I was hallucinating, too much time spent in the basement of Mana had me seeing things. I needed some fresh air. Slowly it dawned on me, this was a birthday party for some kid and they had rented out the cafe and dance studio on the fourth floor. Of all the weird things that had happened over the last two months, somehow this was strangest. Clearly I was spending too much time in the building. Continue reading

Update from Mana Studios | Christina Dietz

Collecting and saving, also known as hoarding, has always been a fundamental part of my studio practice. I am known to accumulate bits and pieces of junk, trash, leftover wrappers, and odd materials in general. During my residency at Mana, I’ve accumulated scrap wood, foam, coffee ground pucks (courtesy of Dominic Sansone), a cast iron pot, Cheetos bags, dozens of egg shells, and various bits of appendages I’ve steadily been making. In the studio, I tend to play and tinker, combining bits of this and that to make a Frankenstein creation, an assemblage of sorts. I’ve been making and acquiring a large library of “parts” but the tricky step is seeing how they all come together. Continue reading

On sculpture, dance and gravity

Working outdoors at Mana

After a month and a half as a resident at Mana, life seems to have fallen into a routine, and a busy one at that. The time traveling to New Jersey every day gave me plenty of time to think more carefully about the influences and the subject matter that prevail in my work. A dominant influence seems to be my background as a dancer. I am becoming increasingly aware of its fundamental influence beyond feeling crippled when working without listening to music. Continue reading

In the Studio with Paul Gwilliam

Paul Gwilliam Sculpture

Image of opening night performance. photo by Jordan Hutchings

In the first residential exchange of Catalyst Arts and Outpost, London-based artist Paul Gwilliam spent 5 weeks in Belfast, working towards the exhibition Out for a Duck. As a continuation of Portrait for a Lynx, which brings together Gwilliam’s making and writing practice, it culminated in a chaotic, comical and disturbing blend of sculpture and performance: two accessory-burdened figures halt and resume repetitive, animalistic actions amidst a copious amount of sculpture, itself produced in unmonumental forms, moulded shapes and beings, found materials and latex. I spoke with the artist about his residency and making process. Continue reading

Artists and the U.S. Mint


For most people, coins are just things that jingle in one’s pocket, accumulate in jars or feed parking meters. They are occasionally counted after a purchase but rarely the subject of close examination. Try telling that to Joel Iskowitz, an artist at the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia since 2006, who calls coins “an ambassador to the rest of the world. They can be eloquent and iconic in telling a story” of American and world history. They “tell” that history through the front and back designs, and it is fine artists that the Mint often looks to hire in order to develop the images used on both sides of American coins and medallions. Continue reading